Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

Have you ever met someone who is fearless when it comes to public speaking?If the answer is no, then you haven’t met the members of the Forensics Society at WCU.

Although the meaning of “forensics” is commonly believed to have limitations in scientific studies, it actually means to dissect and analyze. The forensics team dissects and analyzes all kinds of ideas.

As of this year, the team has won 12 team awards. They have competed in intercollegiate tournaments at state, regional and national levels. Tournaments hold competitions that range in size between 12-100 teams. At the tournaments, they compete in separate areas of prepared speech, literary performance, impromptu and debate, said President Russel Moll.

Individuals of the team have claimed 130 awards, including 26 state championship awards.

In their closest competition in over 10 years, the WCU Forensics Society was only one point away from winning the 2008 Pennsylvania Forensic Association Championship, according to Moll.

The Forensics Society held a showcase on April 10 to demonstrate the events they will compete in for the National Forensics Championship. The championship will be held from April 17-23 at Tennessee State University.

From April 4-8, seniors Dan Blomquist, Johnson and Moll participated in the American Forensics Association national individual events tournament. Blomquist walked away as an addition to the 2008 American Forensic Associations All-American Team.

In the Main Hall Auditorium at 7:30 p.m., team members participated in five different types of competitive speaking. Requirements of the speeches include: they must follow a central theme and last for 10 minutes.

Every word of the team’s speeches is memorized. In the case of persuasive speaking, the topic a member discusses is researched, such as Moll’s speech on dying languages.

In dramatic duos, the members carry on a conversation, complete with movements. The speakers cannot look at or touch each other, but their words and actions must remain fluid and appear seamless to the audience. There is often an aspect of humor incorporated in this type of speech.

For Blomquist’s impromptu speech, three audience members each gave him a quotation written on an index card. The quotations were unknown to him and everyone else in the room. He had 30 seconds to choose a quotation and prepare a five-minute speech about it.

After dinner speaking, as demonstrated by Blomquist’s speech on praise culture, involves speaking about a serious and researched topic. Like dramatic duo speeches, it is performed in a way that the audience should find to be humorous.

Alison Butler is a third-year student majoring in English with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at

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